As much as people would like for every divorce to go smoothly and end amicably, that is not always the case. For instance, if you are involved in a contested divorce, you can be up against conflict, frustration and legal obstacles that you must overcome to get through the process.

Although contested divorces are more difficult, there are steps you can take to protect yourself as you navigate through it.

Have legal support

An attorney can be an immensely valuable resource when you are battling over divorce-related matters. Not only can he or she help you understand the laws governing various issues, but a lawyer can also negotiate on your behalf. He or she can also have the resources to do things like investigate questionable financial statements or false allegations your ex might make, which can make it easier to pursue fair outcomes.

Minimize communication with your ex

In contested divorces, spouses can be very upset with one another. You probably know which buttons to press to make them lash out. And the anger, hostility or bitterness you might feel can make it impossible to have a discussion without it erupting into a fight. As such, you should limit your communication to only what is necessary. Further, you would be wise to discuss things in writing. There are also tools that can help you craft correspondence in a way that minimizes antagonizing or inflammatory language.

Practice self-care

Contested divorces are often quite stressful. People going through them may feel anxious and depressed; some people have trouble sleeping and resort to unhealthy coping habits such as substance abuse. However, taking care of yourself can help you cope with the difficulties of the situation a little easier. As such, consider focusing on making healthy decisions; stay active, eat well and avoid abusing drugs and alcohol. You might also seek out counseling to help you manage your mental health.

These suggestions may not alleviate all the challenges of a contested divorce, but they can make it easier to protect yourself, your rights and your overall well-being.